A SOLICITOR from Coventry has swapped his law books for boxing gloves after stepping into the ring with an opponent 30 years his junior to raise funds for a charity close to his heart.
Phil Costigan took to the ring in front of over 2,000 people at the Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) event at Stoneleigh Park to contribute £700 to the event’s £30,000 fundraising target for Cancer Research UK.
The event saw 84 men and women compete in the UWCB bouts – a format of boxing which is quickly becoming the fastest growing corporate contact sport in the UK.
The 63-year-old, who lost his mum to cancer, was matched on ability, fitness and weight before the first of three two-minute rounds started.
After three years of weekly boxing training at Red Corner Gym in Walsgrave Road, Phil decided to enter the tournament and underwent eight weeks of intense preparation for the event at Toe-2-Toe Gym.
The training covers everything from developing a boxing stance to shadow boxing and short bursts of exercise to improve stamina for two-minute boxing rounds.
Due to Phil’s experience, he was matched against someone outside of Coventry who had previous experience of the event.
His fight went all the way, ending in a draw – though Phil admitted Cancer Research was the ultimate winner on the night.
He said: “We were both well-matched and it was a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
“We both ended up in the bar afterwards having a drink together.
“Not only did I enjoy a great night of boxing, but also raised money for a cause that means so much to me – to know I’ve made a big difference and contributed to a large fundraising total is fantastic.”
“I’d definitely recommend giving it a go as it’s a win-win for everybody who takes part, while the training gets you into shape and you get to make a difference to a great cause.”
Among Phil’s supporters on the night were colleagues at Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button, where he is senior partner.
Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “We’re extremely proud of Phil’s efforts and bravery for stepping into the ring, and all of the team here has supported him with donations or moral support on the night.”